Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Saving Paper Towels

Since having children three and one half years ago, we have used a crazy amount of paper towels. During every meal their little hands and faces need to be cleaned. The table and high chair need to be scrubbed instead of a quick wipe of crumbs and often needed a bit more than just soapy dish water.

 Until recently, I used a lot of paper towels. Around the same time that I started using vinegar to clean, a friend explained to me how she is able to not use so many paper towels. This may be common sense to most people, but I had never really considered it before.

 So I'm sharing it. Taking my friend's lead, I bought some simple waffle weave dish cloths . I don't prefer them for washing dishes, but they are fabulous for cleaning the counters, stove top, and table. (I love knit and crocheted dish cloths best for washing dishes. If you have never tried them, I recommend it!) I bought some just for cleaning because 1.) I wanted a lot of them and 2.) I wanted them to be easily distinguished from dish cloths, dish towels, and the old cloths/rags that can be used in the bathroom.

 I don't know how many paper towels I am saving, but it is a lot! We do still use paper towels to wash the children's faces and hands, as needed, but unless the mess is awful, we rip a paper towel in half before wetting it.

 I have a good reason for using paper towels instead of a dishcloth or other wet cloth...when I was a child, my mom would clean my face with a dishcloth and I hated it! A paper towel is somehow better...and I know it is clean.

 Cleaning with vinegar and using dishcloths to clean are just some simple ways that I am trying to be nicer to my home planet while saving money. I may not be too green, but every bit is helpful in being a steward of God's creation. Do you have any other simple tips for me? (I know Earth Day is this week, but I had fully intended to post this for the past month, and just finally wrote about it.)


Ticia said...

We use all of those old towels that accumulate in our house to help clean up spills, and cloth diapers for cleaning.

Kate said...

Yay! I love this story :-) Today I'm planning on buying some Oxygen Bleach. I have a major aversion to regular bleach for many reasons. Oxygen bleach is non-polluting, 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, and has 100% natural ingredients. It's supposed to be color-safe, too. Oh, and cheap, if you can find the right brand. You know how I love a bargain! I'll let you know how it works.

Cindy said...

We have also really been trying to use fewer paper towels. I have also stopped buying paper plates. We were using them way too much. I just use my dish rag for our table and counters. I just use a new one every other day or so. I was using a new one everyday but to me that it also wasteful b/c it was adding to how many clothes I was washing. If I feel it gets too dirty I just switch it of course or sometimes I even nuke it.

Miller Moments said...

For baby hands and faces I have a drawer in my kitchen full of baby washcloths. I received so many washcloths at baby showers and wondered what I could do with them all. One day my mom suggested that we keep a bunch in the kitchen and use them on the kids. Two years later we are still doing it.

I'm not sure if this falls into being Green, but after a cup of tea I take the tea bag and cut it open and put the tea in a potpourri pot. It makes my whole house smell yummy.

Gidget Girl Reading said...

check out my green cleaning kit post:

Shirley Ann said...

I actually just wrote an article that went along with this about baby wipes of all things. It's become really popular in the past few years to make home made baby wipes instead of buying name brand wipes. Usually the recipes for homemade wipes include half a roll of paper towels but the article I wrote provided a recipe and suggested using baby size wash cloths instead. I've used this method before (when I was at a day care center) and it actually can work out really well.

(I'd be happy to email you the article if you are interested in this more. If not thats okay too.)

Christy Killoran said...

My face was washed with dish cloths too - gross! We have a bathroom right next to the kitchen and I keep facecloths in there so they are pretty handy. I love dish cloths. I still use too many paper towels though, and when I say "I use too many", I mean my husband!

Steph H said...

I have to share that i recently found those waffle weave scrubby towels too and love them. They are great for wiping down the stove top, counters etc -- just not for the dishes.

steph h

Renee said...

Great tips - both here and in the above lunch box give away!

Congrats - you've won the This Litle Prayer Book of Mine! Please email me your address and I'll get it sent to you. Happy Reading!

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